Portable 3D printed expansion card holder

Hello all!

Just figured I’d post an early prototype of an expansion card holder- something I can fit into a laptop bag easily.
Pretty simple, push up from the back or press down on the front to free the card to be pulled out.

Need a little bit of work, and I’d like to figure out some way to lock the affair shut. This early prototype just holds one card but should be able to scale to as many as desired- maybe even back-to-back to hold double the cards.


22 Likes


And with a couple iterations: version 2

It was only after I installed two modules that I realized that it’s a bit tricky to get at the switch and rotate it up… so, still some work to be done.

12 Likes

And I’m back with an update- this will probably be the final revision for now until I have a reason to add or carry around more modules- hint hint!

I rounded out the corners, added some nice chamfers, increased the side of the latch and reduced the tension, filled in some gaps on the bottom, and finally added a little bit of framework branding.

For finishing I hit it with my bead blaster for a couple minutes which makes it look much more like a real product.


I’ll take some glamour shots and throw this up in thingiverse or something in a day or so, sans branding. Overall turned out really nice I think!

Getting the spacing so that the usb-c ports would slot in nicely underneath the bridging was a bit of work though, took a number of attempts trying to feel where it was just right

19 Likes

This is awesome! Very interested in seeing your Thingiverse post for this; when you create that could you make sure to drop the Thingiverse link here?

Great work!

3 Likes

Any word on the thingiverse post for this yet?

2 Likes

Hasn’t been forgotten, I just got pulled away from my desktop for a week!
However, I did RDP in and did some basic exports for throwing up up here for those inclined. See the attachments.

Requires 2x m3 screws, up to 12mm long and one pen spring of length 24mm and maximum OD 5mm. I’ll probably upload the parametrized fusion files too for configuration of the pen spring.

body.stl (275.7 KB)
hinge.stl (283.6 KB)
lock lever.stl (95.7 KB)

I should note the fitment on this is pretty tight! Gaps are about .1mm across the board.

6 Likes

These look really good, definitely going to try printing them,and maybe try making a version with a window to see what card it is without having the ‘ugly’ side out. Are those M3 screws and springs something you could find at a hardware store?

1 Like

I’d just pull the spring from a pen, they’re all roughly the same size in my experience. The m3 screws should be readily available most anywhere. It you want an exact spec, the head shouldn’t have a diameter any larger than about 5.8mm or so if I recall correctly.

1 Like

Haven’t seen this pop up on Thingiverse yet, but I did use the .STL files attached above and they worked like a charm; the tolerances are just right, at least for my well-tuned printer. Thanks and great job on this design!


4 Likes

@mxg I was thinking, this could pretty readily be expanded a bit to include a slot to store the screwdriver as well. I was wondering if you’d be willing to post a .sldprt or .step or equivalent CAD file that I could modify for that?

2 Likes

I’m definitely printing this - what orientation on the print bed do you use for each of the three components?

1 Like

These are EPIC. One thing I’d love to see is a “simpler” dust cover that just protects the port and locks into the latching hooks of the module, as I would throw these into a larger organizer (think elastic band “universal” carrying case or similar).

See Module "dust cover" that snaps onto the locking latches? for my thoughts.

1 Like

@Nordithen

Like this! The height on the slots for the usb-c ports is pretty specifically setup so when it bridges it should be the correct slot thickness for optimal grabby-ness but not too stiff… at least on my machine. If it doesn’t come out properly you might want to play with it by downloading the models and adjusting the height of the hole.

Printing the locking peg in that orientation is a bitch so you might just want to use your slicer to remove the lower, smaller peg and cover… they’re mostly aesthetic.

@bradstopher99
Knock yourself out, here’s a link… can’t upload STEP files here, apparently. (cc @nrp ?)

There’s a little bit of ownership info hidden on the model that I ask you don’t remove. Aside from that, released under CC BY-SA

5 Likes


Modified version with screwdriver holder! I also threw in a USB dongle holder for fun. Prints much the same as the original. Also distributed under CC-BY-SA, modified and original available on Thingiverse here:

9 Likes

How does the size compare to the cardboard boxes the modules come in?

1 Like

Shout out to my buddy @Mikail_Nelson for printing one for me on his 3D printer!

No more digging around in my bag for an expansion card when on site!

3 Likes

Just finished printing my own! I got a 3D printer a couple of weeks ago and have been working toward this project the whole time. It took several tries, and when I finally got over my fear of using supports, it turned out great! Thank you to you both, @mxg and @bradstopher99!


3 Likes

Dang, ya’ll. I prefer the one without the screwdriver, but… thanks to the OP and the modifier - these are legit awesome!! Completely love it and hope to get a couple printed.

Appreciate the community - the designs are awesome.

pAULIE42o
. . . . . . . . .
/s

1 Like

Thanks so much for making this, as well as for making all the files available. I just have a question as to how I would print this (I am a 3d printing noob).
I’ve only ever worked with STL files, so what are the step, SLDPRT, and SLDASM files for? And which files do I download/print if I want the modified version? Is it just the three files named

card-holder-slider-modified.STL
card-holder-hinge-modified.STL
card-holder-body-modified.STL

Thanks for any explanation and help :smiley:

1 Like

@CSab6482 Happy to help!

Anytime you’re 3D printing something, STL is always the one to use. For the modified version, yes, you’ll need those 3 files you mentioned.

For a complete overview, parts can be created in a program like SolidWorks and saved as a SLDPRT. They can be exported to other design programs via saving as a STEP file, and they can be exported for 3D printing by saving as an STL file. I included all of those just so that people could modify the design if they wanted. Hope that all makes sense!

2 Likes